Tom Ahola

I'm male, born 1968 in Vaasa, Finland.
I have a doctoral degree (licentiate of technology with honours) in Engineering.
I'm currently working for Suunto developing new technology as a senior software designer/engineer

My CV in PDF format


I enjoy working with a team of motivated and skilled people to create novel technology or innovative products that gives a great experience for customers and thus good business for the company.


1993-1996 Helsinki University of Technology (TKK). Licentiate's degree with honors.
1987-1993 Helsinki University of Technology (TKK). Master's degree with honors.
1985-1987 Vasa Övningsskolas Gymnasium High School Laudatur (praised, excellent, top 5%).

Only around 1% of the best university students graduated with honors. TKK later transformed and is now part of Aalto University. My topics at the university were electronics, signal processing and measurement science. The Licentiate's degree includes all the studies for a PhD degree. I have also published enough scientific publications. Only difference is the PhD dissertation, for which I have not had interest, as I value true skills and experience over academic titles.


Swedish, Finnish : native bilingual
English : excellent



I like to share my vast experience in an exceptionally broad technical field. I enjoy helping others to achieve a common goal, more than collecting personal achievements. I always have a clear vision how to solve challenges and create optimal solutions. Due to my experience and level of consciousness, I can often foresee and avoid problems, but if problems arise, I can usually quickly work out a solution. I learn new things fast and I m a forward going innovator with a novel and fresh individual approach. I have a deep devotion to technology and creativity, but I am not too geeky. I don't do technology for the sake of technology but for the sake of making the life of people more easy and enjoyable. Thus, usability and pragmatic functionality are very important design criteria for me, not forgetting aesthetic qualities and a high technical performance.

I'm also a very hands-on person and can create prototypes to demonstrate technology and new concepts. I feel that a broad understanding of architecture, design, technology, usability and implementation is very essential for a rapid development cycle of successful products as it reduces iterations of product development and the end result is of higher quality. I have consciously developed my skills in this direction.

I also have great project management and leadership skills partly inherited from relatives who lead businesses from small to large. As a kayaking guide and lead trainer I have led people sucessfully through rough weather and have been able to make the trips enjoyable for all by taking into consideration every individual and planning the trips accordinly. I have received very positive feedback from attendants. I'm a good listener and can make correctly timed decisions based on objective observations that optimize the total outcome. However, I have often opted out from taking leadership roles as I have preferred working more closely and hands-on with the technology as an expert. As an employee I am humble and value the views of my superiors, doing my best to achieve set targets and go even beyond that to add value, quality and futureproofness. Coming from the Ostrobothnia region of Finland, I have inherited qualities known to the region: being honest, open, direct and executing tasks without unnecessary delays.


1993 Research Scientist and Lecturer at Metrology Research Institute (5 Years)

1999 Senior Engineer at Nokia (13 years)

2012 Senior Software Engineer at Suunto (current position)


I was the chairman of the board of The Nokia Paddling Club and I'm an active member of Merimelojat kayaking club. I have a canoeing guide class-1 certification. I have experience of leading kayaking trips with a large number of participants in challenging conditions. Under my leadership the participants have enjoyed the trips and given positive feedback. I also work as a lead trainer and my courses have received high ratings.
Arts and Media
I'm a composer and performer of music, member of Gramex and Teosto and a keen sound designer. I design and build electronic and electro acoustic instruments. Visually I express myself by photography, video and computer 3D graphics and animation. I actively attend workshops such as sound design for film and color correction. I follow the latest in video technology and design some of my own equipment. I have also done web design for various societies and companies.
Radio communications
I have a Radio Amateur license and operate station OH2FRM. In addition to improving skills of fluent global communication and building radio equipment I'm interested in digital data transmissions, position reporting and radio navigation. In NORA ry, the Nokia Radio Amateur Club, I have been trusted to lead the building of a new antenna for a global Winmor link station, important for security communications during disasters.
Fitness and environment
I like hiking, cycling and swimming in addition to kayaking. Geocaching makes me explore strange new places. I keep my mind sharp and body in good condition by practicing yoga and meditation. I follow a vegetarian diet to minimize health risks and environmental impact. I don't smoke or drink alcohol, which keeps me young and retains my ability to learn and understand new things well. I'm very environmentally conscious and try to live in a smart sustainable way.




June 2012 - present
Suunto Product team and previously Technology Solutions team, Vantaa
Senior Software Designer/Engineer
Manager: Satu Rahkonen and previously Jyrki Uusitalo

I have a very inspirational role developing new technology which will bring Suunto customers exciting and valuable new features to awesome products now and in the future. I have mostly worked with technology for dive products but will also contribute to other amazing products. In this role I'm doing a broad range of design tasks, involving digital signal processing (DSP), algorithms, digital communications systems, system design, technology research, electronics, mechanics and one of my favourites, design of new interaction methods and systems. Part of my work is SCUBA test-diving of our new products. My first project was the deveopment of the underwater wireless communication technology for the Suunto Tank Pod pressure transmitter. It has proven very successful and is praised by customers. The novel easy pairing interaction method for the Tank Pod is my invention.

November 2011 - May 2012
Nokia Windows Phone, Sensors & Inputs, Espoo
Senior Engineer
Manager: Jukka Salminen

In this role I was a technology manager for magnetic components in the Nokia Lumia device organization. My responsibility was to support product programs with integration of magnetic components, such as magnetometer sensors into coming Nokia products. This included component and material selections and magnetic simulations to achieve a product with excellent performance. My responsibility was also to work together with component vendors to develop state-of-the-art magnetic sensors exclusively for Nokia. I also made use of my experience in sensor signal processing and algorithms to ensure a high quality sensor interface to applications and a great user experience for the end user. I worked also in software development and produced a magnetic sensor driver for the Windows Phone OS.

August 2011 - November 2011
Nokia CTO, Helsinki
Senior Engineer
Manager: Mika Grundström
Project leader: Hannu Vilpponen

I transferred to CTO from Research to focus more strongly to productize sensor algorithm technology. As sensors are becoming a commodity in mobile devices the algorithms are a key technology to differentiate from the competition. The technology also enables new and potentially disruptive interaction paradigms. Although I worked in this role for a very short time (due to organization instability in Nokia) I developed a highly configurable sensor fusion system to be used for accurate, fast and low energy orientation and motion tracking to be used in indoor navigation, augmented reality and other applications.

January 2009 - July 2011
Nokia Research Center, Tampere Laboratory, Multimodal Interaction Team, Helsinki
Senior Researcher
Team leader: Vuokko Lantz and Viljakaisa Aaltonen as substitute in 2010

In this team I have participated in advanced research of new interaction methods and user interfaces. New interaction concepts and demonstration prototypes have been conceived. My expertise in sensors and signal processing has been utilized in touch and gestural interfaces, my skills in sound synthesis and computer graphics has been utilized in audio-visual and haptic feedback. My skills in measurement science have been useful to help development of latency measurements. In an exploration project I developed a module for face recognition using my skills in image recognition. For a short time I helped out another team working with near field communication (NFC) technology. I am also managing the Tekes funded collaboration project: Human Emotional Interaction (HEI) involving four universities and a couple of enterprises. Our Raja-performance has received the highest visibility, shown in Tampere Innovation experience, Nokia foundation awards ceremony in Helsinki and in London. For this interactive multimedia dance performance I implemented the sensor performer Qt application and the computer visualization.

January 2007 - December 2008
Nokia Research Center, Connectivity Applications System Research, Wellness and Healthcare Team, Helsinki
Member of Research Staff
Team leader: Jukka Salminen

In this role I developed hardware and software for the Nokia Wrist-Attached Sensor Platform (NWSP), which is an FPGA based open-source wireless and wearable R&D platform. The platform is used in collaboration with Universities and research institutes. I also contributed to Continua Health Alliance's Activity Monitor Specification, Bluetooth Low Energy Technology, Nokia Wellness Diary service and Sports Tracker. For Nokia Step Counter I implemented a power saving scheme (Symbian) that allows it to be left on continuously tracking activity without draining the battery too much.

January 2005 - December 2006
Nokia Research Center, Computing Architectures Lab, Mixed Signal Electronics Team, Helsinki
Senior Research Engineer
Team leader: Pertti Tolonen

In this role I worked with various research topics such as mobile lightning detection and sensor algorithms. I developed software to record and analyze signals received by lightning detectors. The application featured up to 10 input channels, accurate time synchronization using GPS and remote operation and monitoring using cellphone SMS messages. I also developed a standalone miniature lightning detector prototype based on a low power microcontroller. In an affective communications exploration project I worked with robotics and tangible communication devices.

January 1999 - December 2004
Nokia Research Center, Electronics Lab, Analog and Mixed Signal IC Design group, Helsinki
Senior Research Engineer
Team leader: Jukka Wallinheimo

In this role I was responsible for the development of the testing and characterization system for ASIC prototypes. This system consisted of several racks of commercial test equipment and equipment designed and built by myself. I implemented advanced automated test programs, measurement analysis algorithms and reporting software networked on Linux and HPUX computers using HP/Agilent VEE, National Instrument's LabVIEW and C++. I also contributed to the ASIC design with circuit ideas and design for testability issues. After we developed a sensor interface chip I developed sensor algorithms for Nokia's first compass phone. I took part in the project making Nokia's first 3G cellphone too. There we made the baseband converter.

1993 - December 1998
Metrology Research Institute (MRI) at Helsinki University of Technology (now part of Aalto University), Espoo (next to Helsinki).
Research Scientist, Lecturer.
Professors: Erkki Ikonen, Pekka Wallin

In this role my projects included development of a digital control system for iodine stabilized lasers (DiLS) used as the national optical frequency standard of Finland. One of these systems were built for the BIPM, which is the European central laboratory of standard measures. The system included a microcomputer system, a DSP unit, embedded software, DSP algorithms and precision analog electronics. The relative uncertainty of the frequency standard can be below 0.0001 ppm. I also worked with optical power measurements and teaching students in the field of measurement science.


© 2018 Tom Ahola